This video demonstrates how to use sources to construct a curatorial statement for a virtual exhibition. The writing sample, endnotes, and bibliography demonstrated in the video are available below.
Tapestries: Unconventional Textile Use in Contemporary Middle Eastern Art
The series Marionettes by Hayv Kahraman fuses motifs from Italian, Persian, and Japanese artistic traditions to represent the confinement of domesticity.1 Born in Baghdad in 1981, Kahraman’s family moved to Sweden in 1992 in the wake of the First Gulf War. After studying graphic design in Florence, Kahraman immigrated to the United States in 2006. Her multinational upbringing drives her work. “I mix all these cultures together probably because I’m searching for a lost identity,” Kahraman explained.2 Discussing her influences with Elephant, Kahraman explained that her “way of working developed organically from the various cultural traditions that [she has] lived in.”3 The figures in her paintings, restrained by golden marionette strings, reflect her experience of Western popular culture: “In the media, on television, you are just bombarded with the subservient-housewife aspiration.”4
Kahraman’s choice to paint on linen, an ancient textile associated with domesticity, reinforces the themes in her work. Using techniques she learned from artisans in Florence, Kahraman stretches raw linen, imported from Belgium, and treats it with a rabbit skin glue to create a taut surface amenable to oil paint.”5
1. Carly Berwick, “Critic’s Pick: Hayv Kahraman,” ARTnews 108, no. 9 (Oct. 2009): 152.
2. Berwick, “Critic’s Pick,” 152.
3. Margherita Dessanay, “Going East: Newer Horizons of Tradition,” Elephant, Summer 2013, 50-71.
4. Berwick, “Critic’s Pick,” 152.
5. Eric Bryant, “Defying Definition: Hayv Kahraman’s New Work Pushes Beyond Gender Roles and Geopolitics into Fresh Territory,” Blouin Art + Auction 37, no. 7 (March 2014): 72-78.
Berwick, Carly. “Critic’s Pick: Hayv Kahraman.” ARTnews 108, no. 9 (Oct. 2009): 152.
Brodsky, Judith K. and Ferris Olin. The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art, 2012.
Bryant, Eric. “Defying Definition: Hayv Kahraman’s New Work Pushes Beyond Gender Roles and Geopolitics into Fresh Territory.” Blouin Art + Auction 37, no. 7 (March 2014): 72-78.
Dessanay, Margherita. “Going East: Newer Horizons of Tradition.” Elephant, Summer 2013, 50-71.
Kahrman, Hayv. Hegemony, 2009. Oil on linen, 86” x 52”.
“Kahraman, Hayv.” In Benezit Dictionary of Artists. Oxford University Press, 2018; online ed.,
Kahraman, Hayv. “Marionettes.” Accessed on 5 April 2018. http://www.hayvkahraman.com/project/marionettes-2009/